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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia ( المملكة العربية السعودية) occupies a unique and distinctive geographic location, bridging civilizations between continents. In ancient times it served as a corridor for trade; therefore, the kingdom saw the beginning of many civilizations, the relics of which are still evident today. Thirteen ancient (Pre-Islamic) Towns have been discovered in Saudi Arabia up to the present date. These are: Qaryat al-Fāw قرية الفاو, Al-Akhdood Archeological Area الأخدود, Mada'in Saleh مدائن صالح, Jubbah جبه, Tarut تاروت, Alcoihtip الشويحطية, Thaj ثاج and Adumatu دومة الجندل. There are still more ancient towns in Saudi Arabia, but unfortunately there is currently no information available on them. The Saudi Arabia government has recently established the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities who has responsibility for the preservation of these cities.

Contents

Qaryat al-Fāw:(قرية الفاو )

Qaryat al-fau, or Qaryat al-Fāw, also appears in the southern text as Qaryat Dhu Kahl, Qaryat al-Hamraa and Dhat al-Jnan[1]. Today people in the region called it Qaryat al-fau, the name deriving from its geographical location at a passageway through the Tuwaiq mountains where it intersects with Wadi-al–Dawasir, overlooking the northwestern edge of the Empty Quarter desert. It is located about 700 km southwest of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia[2]. Qaryat al-fau is classified as one of the most important ancient pre-Islamic cities in Saudi Arabia, and it was the capital of the Kindah Kingdom from the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD, which was one of the ancient Arab kingdoms in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula. The Kinda originally came from Yemen after the demolition of the Marib Dam, which led to the fall of the Kingdom of Sheba. In fact, after the demolition of the Marib dam the kingdom of Sheba was divided into three tribal areas, one of the tribes being the Kinda, which was a part of the Sabaean Kingdom of Ma'rib. The other two tribes were Muntherids, who built their kingdom in southern Iraq, and the Ghassan, whose kingdom was in what is now called Syria. The Kingdom of Kindah is thought by many historians to have been a Bedouin tribal kingdom, unlike other organised kingdoms founded in the Arabian Peninsula.

History of the city: This city was known as Dhu Kahl in the South Arabian text, although in the golden age it was called Qaryat al-Hamraa and Dhat al-Jnan, an Arabic name meaning 'paradise city', and today it is known as Qaryat al-fau or Qaryat al-Fāw, which are the same names only spelled differently. The city covers an area of approximately three kilometers by one. The ancient city was inhabited for about eight centuries, and during this period the city fought several wars with the Kingdom of Saba (c. 8th century B.C. to AD 275), and in AD 228 Imru’ al-Qays fought the city. However, the city is not mentioned in any Arab history books apart from al-Hasan ibn Ahmad ibn Ya‘qūb al-Hamdānī’s book entitled Sifat Jazirat ul-Arab.

The city had an important location, as it was located on a trade route, which had a great impact on the lives of the inhabitants due to their contacts with people from other nations. The archaeological excavations in the city revealed that the city had grown and evolved gradually from the point of the trade route to another important commercial point in the eastern part of the trade route that extends from the south of the Arabian Peninsulas through Najran across the Arab Gulf and Mesopotamia. It became the economic, religious, cultural and social centre of the central Arabian Peninsula, as well as the capital of the Kinda Kingdom in their first period.

Discovery of the City: Interest in Qaryat al-Fāw as an archaeological site dates back to the 1940s when a reference to it was made by some official workers of the Saudi Aramco oil company. In 1952, three of the company's staff visited the city and wrote about it. In 1996, the village was visited by an expert from the Antiquities and Museums agency. In 1976, it was visited first the History and Antiquities Association of King Saud University in Riyadh and then by the Department of Antiquities and Museums, both aiming to study the site, and more specifically, to identify the location of the city. The work took place between 1972 and 1995. Archaeological excavations were carried out by a team from King Saud University team, from 1970 to 2003, and uncovered two major sectors of the town. The first was a residential area, consisting of houses, squares, streets and a market place, while the second was a sacred area, consisting of temples and tombs. The general architectural plan is very indicative of pre-Islamic towns in Arabia. Abdulrahman Al-ansari[3], former Professor of Archaeology at King Saud University in Riyadh and a member of Saudi Arabia's Consultative Council and of the Council's Committee on Education is considered as the founder of the rediscovery of the city of Qaryat al-Fāw.

Market Area (the village of Qaryat al-fau): Built near the western edge of the valley which separates between the Tuwaiq Mountains and the city limits east of the residential area was a large market, 30.75 m in length from west to east, and 25.20 m north to south. It was surrounded by a huge fence consisting of three contiguous parts; the middle one was made of limestone and the internal and external ones made of clay. The market consisted of three floors with seven towers in the market's corners and three in the structure in the middle of the north, south and east of the building. The only entrance to the market was located in the southern half of the west side and was a small door leading to a small square.

Literature: The residents of the Qaryat al-Fāw were concerned with writing, and a great deal of literature was found on the slopes of the mountains, in the market, temples, while paintings were found in the city's residential, and tombstones, pottery and other archaeological materials were also found in the city. The language used was a mix of the language of the north and south. They wrote on different topics, including on religious and commercial issues, as well as on subjects related to personal matters, and through their available literature it has been possible to identify some names of people, tribes, gods, as well as to identify the possible existence of the relations between Qaryat al- Fāw and other kingdoms. A vast amount of literature was found in Qaryat al-Fāw.

Temples: Three temples and one altar were found in Qaryat al- Fāw, two in the area to the west of the market, and one outside the market area. In addition, more than one type of cemetery was found in the town, as there were both public and family graveyards.

Al-Akhdood Archeological Area: ( الأخدود)

Al-Akhdood is located in the south of Saudi Arabia in Najran region, about 1300 km to the south of Riyadh. Exploration of the city was begun around 1997 by group of Saudi historians. Since then, many antiques have been found, and the greatest discovery in the town was of the place where the king of the Kingdom of Himyar punished the citizens of the town if they converted to Christianity by throwing them into fire, which is called in Arabic "Akhdood” According to the experts, the city was built between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. The story of these people is mention in the Quran, in the chapter Al-Buruj.

Mada'in Saleh: (مدائن صالح) also called Al-Hijr

File:Salah-1-large.jpg
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Also called Al-Hijr, this is an ancient city located in northern Saudi Arabia, about 1400 km to the north of Riyadh. Mada'in Saleh is considered to be one of the most important and oldest ancient cities in the country. Mada'in Saleh lies to the northwest of the city of al-Ula, in a strategic position on one of the most important ancient trade routes, which linked the south of the Arabian peninsula to the north, as well as to the great economic and cultural centres of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. It was the second largest city in the kingdom of Al-anbat. The Al-anbat were a group of Arab tribes whose economy was based on pastoralism, and over time they settled, created and developed several cities and become traders. The Nabataeans occupied a territory in the south of Sham where they founded the Nabataean Kingdom; their capital was Petra in Jordan, which was chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Their language was Nabataean, a form of the northern Arabic. The area of Mada'in Saleh is characterized by impressive rock formations, sandstone hills of varied colours, from red to yellow and white. The beauty of the landscape is also enhanced by the golden sand dunes which border it on all sides. The area of Mada'in Saleh covered by the site is about 1621 hectares. The tombs are distributed in groups of various importance, as follows[4]: Qasr as Sani ( قصر الصانع)is the first group of tombs and occupies two sandstone hills in the southern part of the site. The western hill contains only one large tomb, called Qasr as Sani, while the second one contains six small undated funerary chambers. The tombs of the residential area: this group of monuments lies in the south of the residential area. It comprises two sandstone hills, one small and one large. The large one contains eighteen tombs. Qasr al-Farid(مجموعة مقابر المنطقة )is located in the southwest of the site. It was given its name as it was completely isolated from the other tombs. Qasr al-Bint: this group of tombs lies west of the Jabal Ithib. It comprises two sandstone hills, one containing twenty-nine tombs and the second, two tombs. Jabal Ithib (قصر الفريد) The name is a toponym referring to two mountain ranges which dominate the site from the northeast. Jabal al-Mahjar (مجموعة مقابر البنت) this group of tombs is located to the northwest of the Qasr al-Bint and occupies three elongated sandstone hills, one of which is called the Jabal al-Mahjar. This area contains fourteen tombs. Khaymat (جبال أثلب) this group of tombs is located to the west of the Hijaz railway. It contains fifty-three tombs. The residential area (مجموعة مقابر الخريمات) is located in the plain which lies in the middle of the site. Mada'in Saleh was recognized by the UNESCO as a site of patrimony[5], the first world heritage site in Saudi Arabia. The story of these people called the people of Thamud (including petra) is mentioned several times in the Quran along with prophet Saleh.

Jubbah: (جبة)

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Is located in Hail region about 350 km north of Riyadh. The city was built around 7000 years ago.

Tarut: (تاروت)

Tarut Island is the second largest island in the Persian Gulf located off the city of Qatif. The name was derived from that of the name of goddess of love and war, a Phoenican and Cananite goddess. Tarut is known for its historical landmarks, such as the Tarut castle.

Alcoihtih: (الشويحطية)

File:Soahtih.jpg
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Located in the north of Saudi Arabia about 1300 km north of the capital of Saudi Arabia in the Al-Jawf region. It is thought to be the oldest city in the history of Asian continent. Abdulrahman Al-ansari, a renowned Professor of Archaeology mentioned previously, is of this opinion. Other experts have stated that the history of Alcoihtip dates back more than one million years according to the physical evidence found in Alcoihtip.

Thaj: (ثاج)

located in the northwest in the western region, about 600 km northwest of Riyadh, the capital. The majority of historians believe that the city of Thaj was built in the period of the Greeks This period began after the conquest of Alexander in 330 B.C. The most important discoveries in the city were nine stones carved with writing dating back to the middle of the first millennium B.C.

See also

References

External links

  • L'heritage du lointain [1]
  • ESP Dating of Tooth from Pre- Islamic Sitin Saudi Arabia[2]
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities [3]

Saudi Arabia ( المملكة العربية السعودية) occupies a unique and distinctive geographic location, bridging civilizations between continents. In ancient times the Arabian peninsula served as a corridor for trade; therefore, the it saw the beginning of many civilizations, the relics of which are still evident today. Thirteen ancient (Pre-Islamic) Towns have been discovered in Saudi Arabia up to the present date. These are: Qaryat al-Fāw قرية الفاو, Al-Akhdood Archeological Area الأخدود, Mada'in Saleh مدائن صالح, Jubbah جبه, Tarut تاروت, Al Shoehtiah الشويحطية, Thaj ثاج and Dummat Al Jandal دومة الجندل. There are still more ancient towns in Saudi Arabia, but unfortunately there is currently no information available on them. The Saudi Arabia government has recently established the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities who has responsibility for the preservation of these cities.

Contents

Qaryat al-Fāw (Arabic: قرية الفاو‎)

Qaryat al-fau, or Qaryat al-Fāw, also appears in the southern text as Qaryat Dhu Kahl, Qaryat al-Hamraa and Dhat al-Jnan[1]. Today people in the region called it Qaryat al-fau, the name deriving from its geographical location at a passageway through the Tuwaiq mountains where it intersects with Wadi-al–Dawasir, overlooking the northwestern edge of the Empty Quarter desert. It is located about 700 km southwest of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. Qaryat al-fau is classified as one of the most important ancient pre-Islamic cities in Saudi Arabia, and it was the capital of the Kindah Kingdom from the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD, which was one of the ancient Arab kingdoms in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula. The Kinda originally came from Yemen after the demolition of the Marib Dam, which led to the fall of the Kingdom of Sheba. In fact, after the demolition of the Marib dam the kingdom of Sheba was divided into three tribal areas, one of the tribes being the Kinda, which was a part of the Sabaean Kingdom of Ma'rib. The other two tribes were Muntherids, who built their kingdom in southern Iraq, and the Ghassan, whose kingdom was in what is now called Syria. The Kingdom of Kindah is thought by many historians to have been a Bedouin tribal kingdom, unlike other organised kingdoms founded in the Arabian Peninsula.

History of the city: This city was known as Dhu Kahl in the South Arabian text, although in the golden age it was called Qaryat al-Hamraa and Dhat al-Jnan, an Arabic name meaning 'paradise city', and today it is known as Qaryat al-fau or Qaryat al-Fāw, which are the same names only spelled differently. The city covers an area of approximately three kilometers by one. The ancient city was inhabited for about eight centuries, and during this period the city fought several wars with the Kingdom of Saba (c. 8th century B.C. to AD 275), and in AD 228 Imru’ al-Qays fought the city. However, the city is not mentioned in any Arab history books apart from al-Hasan ibn Ahmad ibn Ya‘qūb al-Hamdānī’s book entitled Sifat Jazirat ul-Arab.

The city had an important location, as it was located on a trade route, which had a great impact on the lives of the inhabitants due to their contacts with people from other nations. The archaeological excavations in the city revealed that the city had grown and evolved gradually from the point of the trade route to another important commercial point in the eastern part of the trade route that extends from the south of the Arabian Peninsulas through Najran across the Arab Gulf and Mesopotamia. It became the economic, religious, cultural and social centre of the central Arabian Peninsula, as well as the capital of the Kinda Kingdom in their first period.

Discovery of the City: Interest in Qaryat al-Fāw as an archaeological site dates back to the 1940s when a reference to it was made by some official workers of the Saudi Aramco oil company. In 1952, three of the company's staff visited the city and wrote about it. In 1996, the village was visited by an expert from the Antiquities and Museums agency. In 1976, it was visited first the History and Antiquities Association of King Saud University in Riyadh and then by the Department of Antiquities and Museums, both aiming to study the site, and more specifically, to identify the location of the city. The work took place between 1972 and 1995. Archaeological excavations were carried out by a team from King Saud University team, from 1970 to 2003, and uncovered two major sectors of the town. The first was a residential area, consisting of houses, squares, streets and a market place, while the second was a sacred area, consisting of temples and tombs. The general architectural plan is very indicative of pre-Islamic towns in Arabia. Abdulrahman al-Ansary[2], former Professor of Archaeology at King Saud University in Riyadh and a member of Saudi Arabia's Consultative Council and of the Council's Committee on Education is considered as the founder of the rediscovery of the city of Qaryat al-Fāw.

Market Area (the village of Qaryat al-fau): Built near the western edge of the valley which separates between the Tuwaiq Mountains and the city limits east of the residential area was a large market, 30.75 m in length from west to east, and 25.20 m north to south. It was surrounded by a huge fence consisting of three contiguous parts; the middle one was made of limestone and the internal and external ones made of clay. The market consisted of three floors with seven towers in the market's corners and three in the structure in the middle of the north, south and east of the building. The only entrance to the market was located in the southern half of the west side and was a small door leading to a small square.

Literature: The residents of the Qaryat al-Fāw were concerned with writing, and a great deal of literature was found on the slopes of the mountains, in the market, temples, while paintings were found in the city's residential, and tombstones, pottery and other archaeological materials were also found in the city. The language used was a mix of the language of the north and south. They wrote on different topics, including on religious and commercial issues, as well as on subjects related to personal matters, and through their available literature it has been possible to identify some names of people, tribes, gods, as well as to identify the possible existence of the relations between Qaryat al- Fāw and other kingdoms. A vast amount of literature was found in Qaryat al-Fāw.

Temples: Three temples and one altar were found in Qaryat al- Fāw, two in the area to the west of the market, and one outside the market area. In addition, more than one type of cemetery was found in the town, as there were both public and family graveyards.

Al-Akhdood Archeological Area: ( الأخدود)

Al-Akhdood is located in the south of Saudi Arabia in Najran region, about 1300 km to the south of Riyadh. Exploration of the city was begun around 1997 by group of Saudi historians. Since then, many antiques have been found, and the greatest discovery in the town was of the place where the king of the Kingdom of Himyar punished the citizens of the town if they converted to Christianity by throwing them into fire, which is called in Arabic "Akhdood” According to the experts, the city was built between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. The story of these people is mention in the Quran, in the chapter Al-Buruj.

Mada'in Saleh: (مدائن صالح) also called Al-Hijr

Also called Al-Hijr, this is an ancient city located in northern Saudi Arabia, about 1400 km to the north of Riyadh. Mada'in Saleh is considered to be one of the most important and oldest ancient cities in the country. Mada'in Saleh lies to the northwest of the city of al-Ula, in a strategic position on one of the most important ancient trade routes, which linked the south of the Arabian peninsula to the north, as well as to the great economic and cultural centres of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. It was the second largest city in the kingdom of Al-anbat. The Al-anbat were a group of Arab tribes whose economy was based on pastoralism, and over time they settled, created and developed several cities and become traders. The Nabataeans occupied a territory in the south of Sham where they founded the Nabataean Kingdom; their capital was Petra in Jordan, which was chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Their language was Nabataean, a form of the northern Arabic. The area of Mada'in Saleh is characterized by impressive rock formations, sandstone hills of varied colours, from red to yellow and white. The beauty of the landscape is also enhanced by the golden sand dunes which border it on all sides. The area of Mada'in Saleh covered by the site is about 1621 hectares. The tombs are distributed in groups of various importance, as follows[3]: Qasr as Sani ( قصر الصانع)is the first group of tombs and occupies two sandstone hills in the southern part of the site. The western hill contains only one large tomb, called Qasr as Sani, while the second one contains six small undated funerary chambers. The tombs of the residential area: this group of monuments lies in the south of the residential area. It comprises two sandstone hills, one small and one large. The large one contains eighteen tombs. Qasr al-Farid(مجموعة مقابر المنطقة )is located in the southwest of the site. It was given its name as it was completely isolated from the other tombs. Qasr al-Bint: this group of tombs lies west of the Jabal Ithib. It comprises two sandstone hills, one containing twenty-nine tombs and the second, two tombs. Jabal Ithib (قصر الفريد) The name is a toponym referring to two mountain ranges which dominate the site from the northeast. Jabal al-Mahjar (مجموعة مقابر البنت) this group of tombs is located to the northwest of the Qasr al-Bint and occupies three elongated sandstone hills, one of which is called the Jabal al-Mahjar. This area contains fourteen tombs. Khaymat (جبال أثلب) this group of tombs is located to the west of the Hijaz railway. It contains fifty-three tombs. The residential area (مجموعة مقابر الخريمات) is located in the plain which lies in the middle of the site. Mada'in Saleh was recognized by the UNESCO as a site of patrimony[4], the first world heritage site in Saudi Arabia. The story of these people called the people of Thamud (including petra) is mentioned several times in the Quran along with prophet Saleh.

Jubbah: (جبة)

Is located in Hail region about 350 km north of Riyadh. The city was built around 7000 years ago.

Tarut: (تاروت)

Tarut Island is the second largest island in the Persian Gulf located off the city of Qatif. The name was derived from that of the name of goddess of love and war, a Phoenican and Cananite goddess. Tarut is known for its historical landmarks, such as the Tarut castle.

Al Shoehtiah: (الشويحطية)

Located in the north of Saudi Arabia about 1300 km north of the capital of Saudi Arabia in the Al-Jawf region. It is thought to be the oldest city in the history of Asian continent. Abdulrahman al-Ansary, a renowned Professor of Archaeology mentioned previously, is of this opinion. Other experts have stated that the history of Al Shoehtiah dates back more than one million years according to the physical evidence found in Al Shoehtiah.

Thaj: (ثاج)

located in the northwest in the western region, about 600 km northwest of Riyadh, the capital. The majority of historians believe that the city of Thaj was built in the period of the Greeks This period began after the conquest of Alexander in 330 B.C. The most important discoveries in the city were nine stones carved with writing dating back to the middle of the first millennium B.C.

Dumat Al-Jandal: (دومة الجندل‎)

is the name for an ancient city of ruins located in North Western Saudi Arabia in the Al Jawf province. The name Dumat al-Jandal means literally "Dumah of the Stone", since this was the territory of Dumah, one of the twelve sons of Ishmael. The city's ancient Akkadian name was Adummatu.[5]

See also

References

External links

  • L'heritage du lointain [1]
  • ESP Dating of Tooth from Pre- Islamic Sitin Saudi Arabia[2]
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities [3]

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